Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fruit Salad Kids Will Eat

Tonight as I was mixing up fruit salad for Thanksgiving I was remembering how much I loved it as a kid. It really was my favorite dish. Now that I make it myself the mystery is gone, but the kids love it. I thought in honor of the holiday I would share the secret to making this fruit salad.
I'll start with the grocery shopping as it is an important part of getting the kids to eat it. First buy a box of orange jello, the kind you actually have to add water to not the pre-made stuff your kids beg for. Now comes the fruit. Get a short can of crushed pineapple. The ones that look like old school tuna cans but with pineapple in them. Next is a medium can of mandarin oranges. Not the big can but also not the tiny can. It is the one in between. Pick up a bag of miniature marshmallows. Don't buy them more than a couple of days in advance or you will not have enough left by the time you make it. Head on over the the refrigerator section and pick up some cottage cheese. It's the size just big enough to be a tub but not so big that you need a long handled spoon to get it all out. Last you'll need two tubs of Cool Whip. Actually the recipe only calls for 1, but we all know that one tub will magically disappear as soon as your husband knows it is in the house.
The night before you want to eat this and after the kids go to bed, get out a big plastic bowl with a lid. Drain your pineapple and oranges and dump them in the bowl. Next goes the cottage cheese. It is very important not to let any children or child like adults see this step as they are usually terrified of cottage cheese, or maybe that is just my house. Yell at your husband for eating the Cool Whip you had thawed out for this and then grab the still partly frozen tub you had hidden behind the vegetables in the bottom drawer of the frig. Fold it in. Now add a fist full of marshmallows in, or how ever many it takes for your kids to notice them before they see other ingredients. The last step is to open the orange jello mix and sprinkle in around a half of the packet. After stirring you want a peachy color and slight orange smell without it becoming a full "Oh, Tang!" kind of a thing.
The next day the kids will blissfully eat it up without a clue of what is hidden in it's fluffy folds. You can sit back and smile at what you have tricked them into eating. That is, right up to the point that you realize that the unhealthy ingredients greatly out weight the healthy, but at least you can still say that they ate fruit salad.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Finding THE Truth

JD is asking questions. Big questions. He wants to know when the world is going to end and if he will go to Heaven when it does. The one that threw me a bit was, "How will I find you when I get to Heaven?" Even though Nix was a little younger when she started on this path, she some how seemed older. I didn't have any doubt that Nix knew what she was doing when she prayed to accept Christ. I was there, I felt... well for lack of better words, the movement of the Spirit. I was almost as sure of her salvation as I am of my own. Certainly as sure as one can be about another's faith. I guess I am searching for that same assurance with JD.
At some point everyone reaches that all important age of accountability. It's the point in your life when you know there is a choice to be made. You can either follow the path of God or follow the path of man. I put it that way because when you say the choice is right or wrong, good or evil, it makes it seem like a no brainer, and it's not that easy. Rocky likes to say that a choice is not a choice without two seemingly good options, and to many the ways of the world look pretty good. In the short run it is certainly the best looking on the surface. In the long run you spend eternity learning why it was wrong.
As I remember it, coming to an understanding about God, Life, the Universe, and Everything, hit me like a bolt of lightening. It was like I had just finished a puzzle and saw the whole picture for the first time. At that moment, I understood, I was ashamed, I was grateful, and I wanted to do whatever I needed to do to let God and the rest of the world know that I believed. My parents didn't push me, I pushed them. It seemed very similar with Nix. I want it to work that way for JD.
As a parent, no, as a Christian parent, my greatest fear is that my son will understand, but wait. He'll let something hold him back, or doubt what he is feeling. It is hard to have a fear like this and still restrain yourself from pushing, so I pray. I pray that JD will understand, that God will work in his life to make him a great Christian man, that I'll know and be sure, and that I will not turn into the Christian equivalent of a stage mom.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Dishwashers and Microwaves

I'm going to go out on a limb here, but I think that the dishwasher and the microwave are contributing to the obesity problem in this country. This thought came to me the other day when, in 30 minutes, I covered some very healthy strawberries in some very unhealthy chocolate. I started with washing the berries and ended with washing the dishes and still got it all done in 30 minutes thanks to the microwave. I even used two different kinds of chocolate.
For Halloween each year I make chocolate covered caramel apples. When I was a kid this was the type of thing you got once a year at the fair, twice if your family went to Gatlinburg. Can you imagine the time and mess involved in making such a treat before microwaves and the clean up before dishwashers? No wonder people didn't make these for themselves. Now all it takes is a corning ware dish, a microwave, and a dishwasher. I can knock those things out in minutes.
Later I got to thinking about all the things I make quickly and easily that a few years ago would have taken all day and messed up every pot in the kitchen. It would quickly become a dish not worth the trouble or best saved for special occasions.
What I'm realizing here is that if you take a treat normally reserved for once a year and invent something that allows you to make it easily once a month then it stands to reason that people will start to put on some extra weight unless they restrain themselves. I don't know if you've noticed, but our generation is not real big on restraint.